Middle Grade Mysteries 

Created by Tara Murphy, youth services librarian at the North Plainfield branch

If the shorter days and longer nights put you in the mood for curling up with a good mystery, check out one of these books recommended for kids in fourth through sixth grade. 

Who would put diamonds on a dog collar? Owners of a movie star dog, that’s who, but when the collar goes missing from a family’s hotel, trouble unsettles the life of three siblings who wind up tangled up in the crime. 

For those who like a bit of humor mixed with their mystery, this one’s for you. A girl named Friday has super smarts that lead her to a spot at an elite boarding school, where she solves mysteries including one involving a swamp monster causing a ruckus.

When she finds a spooky old house at the edge of the cemetery where she walks her dog, Melody explores. Is it a story of a spy and a criminal, or something else? Also a tale of friendship, trust, and finding solutions. 

This fantastical mystery might stretch your brain with the workings of magic mirrors and portals; it is a captivating tale of how a boy tries to figure out how to bring back his magician father who disappeared during a magic trick. 

When a diamond goes missing from the Louvre museum, Julieta has a strong incentive to figure out what happened, because her father is getting blamed! 

When Lara starts her own detective agency, she doesn’t expect the greatest mysteries to be happening in her own family. Why is her dad acting this way? What is going on with her sister? Sometimes the best use of detective skills can be figuring out what to do in the dynamics of your own family and in middle school. 

When Paloma goes to Mexico City for the summer for her mom’s work, she gets to connect with her Mexican roots and meet new people. Two new friends get her involved in a search for a valuable ring of the famous artist Frida Kahlo, but things get more complex than a simple treasure hunt. Who can she trust?

There are so many layers to this story that brings two new friends on a summer adventure to solve a past mystery of buried treasure and racial injustice and figure out some present day problems as well.

  • Pumpkin Falls Mysteries” series by Heather Vogel Frederick

“Absolutely Truly” kicks off this cozy mystery series, which is partly a tale of investigation about a secret note in a rare book that Truly finds in her family’s struggling bookstore, and partly a story about a girl finding her place in a new town and reconnecting with her dad who has struggled after war injuries.  

When April finds herself in a mansion that is now a home for orphans, there is another mystery afoot besides where her mother has gone, leaving her only with a special key. Villains and heroes keep you turning the pages in this adventure.